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Spain PM: No secession referendum for Catalonia

January 21, 2014

MADRID (AP) — Spain’s prime minister has declared that he will not let the northeastern Catalonia region hold a referendum on whether it should secede and form a new European country.

Mariano Rajoy told Spain’s Antena 3 television network late Monday that the referendum many Catalans want “won’t take place and as long I am prime minister of Spain’s government there will not be independence for any Spanish territory.”

His comments came less than a week after the regional Catalan parliament made a formal request to the central government in Madrid for it to transfer powers to Catalonia so a referendum could be held.

Rajoy has an absolute majority in Parliament and the main Socialist opposition party also opposes allowing giving Catalonia the right to hold a secession referendum.

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